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Antigoni allo specchio: la lezione d’Amore di Margherita Porete

Published April 2, 2009
How to Cite
Soleti, A. (2009). Antigoni allo specchio: la lezione d’Amore di Margherita Porete. Storia Delle Donne, 4(1), 83-102. https://doi.org/10.13128/SDD-2814


This article traces the historical figure of the Medieval mystical writer, Marguerite Porete, who wrote The Mirror of simple souls. Almost nothing is known about her life and education; therefore, the various theories about her were taken into consideration: she might have been a copyist; surely, she was a well-educated beguine, who was tragically burnt at the stake after refusing to recant her views. Throughout the pages of the Mirror, the author describes the Soul’s path to perfection which ends up in unity with Love overcoming the mediation of Reason: a message that goes beyond Scripture and dares to announce the existence of another Church. The views of the French beguine fit perfectly with the philosophical debates of the time. Nevertheless, theologians and clergymen tried, in vain, to get rid of any traces of it. In the second part of this essay Porete’s trial is briefly taken into consideration; she was condemned by a court which was, at the time, involved in the infamous templar affairs. With her, a “so called Beghard”, Guiard de Cressonessart, was held in trial, but he confessed in order to save his life, while the brave accused remained in silence and chose to burn at the stake in order for her lesson to live forever. As a deign successor of Sophocles’ Antigone, also Marguerite faced death: an inexorable gesture filled with an unexpected political resonance.


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